Brandlive founder Fritz Brumder and his
business partner, Ben McKinley. Both are
former ski racers.
CASCADE WEB DEVELOPMENT
officer at L.L. Bean and the photographer behind flyingpointroad.
com. “RaceSplitter is an iPhone-iPod software that allows you
to time a ski race or training session or — in the way we initially
thought of it — get intervals and relative standings while you’re out
on a ski course.”
Fuller says that RaceSplitter was not developed to make money, but to serve a nordic skiing community that’s been dying for
a cost-effective alternative to existing products — products many
programs and individuals simply can’t afford.
“If you’re a parent watching a race on a cold day in Rumford, Maine,
and you’ve got all these kids going by and you’ve got no clue where
your own kid is, this would be a really simple way of keeping track,”
says Fuller. “If you’re a coach at Dartmouth or Denver, it’s also a
cost-effective way to keep track of splits and races — and with a
few quick touches you can also email everyone on your team the
RaceSplitter is slated for release later this month and will be offered at an introductory price of $24.99. That tools performing the
same functions currently cost between $500 and $3,000, of course,
makes the app wildly appealing. Better still, says Fuller, is the ease
of use for casual race fans, coaches and athletes alike.
“RaceSplitter is really slick in that you’re able to go to a website,
double-click on a race, and the start order is sent to and auto-
matically populates the application on your phone,” says Fuller.
“Say you’re going to NCAAs at Trapp Family Lodge. You log on to
RaceSplitter.com, double-click the NCAA Championships race and
it’s beamed to your phone immediately. Then when you’re out on
the course, you might just type in a bib number and it will say, ‘Steve
is in second place, 43 seconds back.’”
Adds Fuller: “As goofy as it may sound, I just think this will be a
great thing for the nordic skiing community. It’ll help parents, ath-
letes, and coaches get a better gauge of what’s going on in real
time, and it’ll be fun for spectators, too.”
The end of trickle-down techonomics
Misinformation about how to use, maintain and modify equipment
pervades the sport of ski racing. This is particularly true for athletes
without access to world-class techs who might, for example, be trying to set up their new alpine boots — which can be lifted, canted
and otherwise personalized in a million different ways.
The misinformation often stems from the high number of people
between product developers and racers who use those products.
It’s a bad game of “Telephone,” if you will.
This summer, Oregon-based Cascade Web Development launched
a company called Brandlive — conceived and designed by former
alpine racer Fritz Brumder — which is helping manufacturers such
as Nordica disseminate information with better accuracy.
“I felt there was an opportunity to create better human interaction
between companies, retailers and consumers on the web by using
video,” Brumder says. “Websites obviously have lots of informa-
tive features, but they’re still not as good as walking into a retail
store and having your specific question answered by a product ex-
pert — true for skiing and just about every other industry. Brandlive
[bridges the gap between a store and the web], making it possible
to almost touch and feel a product as you inquire about it in real
In general, Brandlive ( yourbrandlive.com) is essentially a video
conferencing tool that’s different from technologies like Skype, US-
TREAM, and WebEx in several key ways. First, it’s customizable
software — insert your brand’s name and design features, add live
— that can be integrated with any website and no third-party ads or
interference. There’s also no download necessary to use the prod-
uct: a customer (racer, rep, coach, etc.) needs only the Internet and